Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Theory4 (Email 1)

Hi  Anastasia
    Thanks for getting us started on this conversation.  An ambitious post including the transition:  The points of reference you defined are good, useful for our purposes, in grounding sufficiently general operations.  We are defining "metaphysics" not in the specialized sense of the science of being qua being (as Aristotle had it), but taking being in its general sense as an attempt to state the truth about what life is, not just THAT nature is, but what it is, how it works, its axioms or principles (the arche). This life refers to us who are living, learning how to act in accord with reality and what is real, so as not to be mistaken, in error, and repeat the same stupidities, such that we may be happy and thrive (so to speak).  Aristotle treated all of that in several text, inventing several different fields of knowledge (not only metaphysics but also logic, ethics, and poetics). 
    I put it that way to pick up on your point about repetition, one of the 4 fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis.  Literacy committed to rationality, developing logic out of the affordances of written Greek, in order to get some control over error, the false, the stupid, the deceptive. Socrates as gadfly felt obligated to point out to his interlocutors that they didn't know what  they were doing or saying.  Was reason the answer?  Civilization made a great attempt in that direction, following up the first beginning as Heidegger put it.  And yet, today, we still do  not know what we are doing or saying.  Freud introduced a theoretical concept, the Unconscious, naming this condition.  Our  stupidity does not work the way  literacy thought, it seems.  Try  again, with the other beginning.  People who sought or who seek out psychoanalytic treatment suffer dissatisfaction to the point that they are no longer able to function.  They repeat the  same mistakes, find themselves in the same impasse repeatedly.  Why? what is the cause? What may be done about it?
    Lacan as Theory in the CATTt provides our anagogy:  we accept his account of the Real, reality (provisionally, always), to  explain how things work.  That is what we need from our Lacan instructions, so that our instructions tell us what reality we are looking for and testing in our experiment.  You are right to focus on the examples, just as we noted with  Jullien:  there is a general principle but the examples help orient us to its quality:  crossbow vs spear for example.  The game you rightly featured is famous in the literature, observed by Freud watching his grandson playing with a bobbin on a string.  He was playing "gone" Freud said, and Lacan sites this case.  The bobbin is a signifier, the game is the means by which the child deals with the absence of his mother.  The bobbin is about something else (this is always the case in art, dreams, language).  A relationship is set up, a semiotics, associating the two sounds the child made with two German word (Fort! = Gone; Da! = There); the words in turn associated with the position of the bobbin:  thrown away; retrieved.  In psychoanalysis, of course, games, dreams, jokes, stories, art, literature are not "just" analogies but the very material of the discipline. 

1 comment:

  1. During the semester I failed to update Routine with posts to support the invention process. Email was our back-channel substitute, and since those archives will soon disappear, I will add some of those posts to the blog.